Release 2.19n
Virtual Cub
Would you be interested in playing in a BCL Stafford Bridge Club virtual club event? See BCL Newsletter of July 29th that BCL members should have received. Contact Terry or Carol. If you are a BBO fan there is the SSCBA Wednesday evening virtual club event. Play at both? Whatever don't miss your bridge at this difficult time.
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If you know of any member of the club who is unwell please let either Pat Martin or a member of the committee know so that appropriate wishes can be sent on behalf of all members.
The quickest response will be to tell either Pat Martin or any member of the committee at the bridge session then a card can be signed & posted immediately. Alternatively, you can email the secretary.

Gina Foster
Gina Foster

We are very sorry to inform members that Gina Foster passed away early on Sunday 21st June.    She was a good friend and companion to many of us, and she loved her bridge.  She will be greatly missed.

Gina's funeral will take place privately on 24th July at Stafford Crematorium.

Jeannie Tomkinson
Jeannie Tomkinson

It is with sadness that we have to announce the death of Jeannie Tomkinson. She had been in hospital for a few weeks and finally succumbed to Pneumonia on Friday 5th June.

Jeannie was a long time member of our Club who played mostly on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Members will also remember her for her Westie dog “Teddy” who was a Crufts Champion.


At Jeannie’s request there will be no funeral but her coffin will be outside her house at 2 Felden Close, Parkside, ST16 1TX, at 1:50pm on 23rd June for 20 minutes for those wishing to pay their respects. A single flower can be placed on the Coffin if so wished and a Gin & Tonic will be provided to send her on her way.

Sheila Palmer
Sheila Palmer

The club was very sad to hear from Jim that Sheila died peacefully on Saturday 13th June. Sheila always had a cheerful smile and a kind word throughout her illness over the last few years.  Sheila played at the club until just before the official lock down, nearly always coming high enough to earn Master Points.  Sheila had been a regular afternoon player for many years partnering Bryan Purslow when he took on directing the afternoon sessions, they made an efficient team Bryan having the bridge scored before the players left (in the days before the tablets) and Sheila making sure that the tea break went smoothly with the washing up completed by the end of the session.  Thanks to them both the sessions were so popular, one time 12½ tables making for a packed room.  Jim and Sheila made regular trips to the away weekend and in recent years Jim had been able to play in afternoons with Sheila and they both attended Robin's classes too.  Sheila presented the prizes at the 2016 club dinner,  On her retirement from housekeeping duties at the club the club presented Jim and Sheila with a voucher for a trip to London to see The Last Tango in October 2016.  Sheila will be very much missed.

Sheila's Funeral is on Wednesday 24th June at 3.00pm and will be a quiet family gathering & service. However Jim has arrange for the service to be streamed and the details can be found at the bottom of the order of service, click here to see it.

Our thoughts are with Jim and the family at this sad time.

Pauline Goggin
Pauline Goggin

Members will be sorry to hear that Pauline Goggin died unexpectedly on May 29th.   Pauline had been a member of the club for many years. Pauline played regularly until about 18 months ago, latterly mainly on Wednesday afternoons partnering Z and, later, Sylvia H usually being near or at the top of the ranking list.  Pauline carried out many duties for the club being on the committee for several years, some of which as secretary.   Pauline also ran Friday night bridge sessions for 2 or 3 years.  Our thoughts are with Pauline's husband and family at this sad time.  Some of Pauline's family visited the club on Wednesday 5th June 2019 to meet her SBC bridge friends and see Pauline's name on the trophy boards.  Michael spoke a few words in memory of Pauline while the family were at the club.

Phil Topley

Phil Topley passed away on May 1st aged 94.  He will be remembered fondly by some of the longer standing members of the club.  Phil was one of the earlier grandmasters and won many competitions at both club and county level.  He was also very successful at national level.  Over the years he won most of the major national competitions.  He also represented England at national level.

His first major success was to be in the winning Gold Cup team in 1955.  The captain of the winning gold cup team in the previous 3 years was no other than Terence Reese, a prolific author who to this day is still regarded by many as the greatest ever British player.  An early testament to Phil's immense ability. He also won the Crockford's cup, another of the EBU's prestigious teams competitions.  The list goes on, national life masters, seniors  teams (won 4 times from 2000 to 2006).  He also won the Tollemache Cup, the inter county teams of 8; firstly in 1955, again in 1956, playing for the North West and then in 1976, being the only time Staffordshire has won the Tolly. Over the years Phil also played locally at Newcastle and Wolverhampton

Phil was very supportive of his partners who always appreciated his helpful advice.

Our thoughts at this time are with his wife Ann who was a regular player at Stafford during Phil's time at the club.

Phil's funeral will be on Thursday 23rd May,3 o’clock at Stafford Crematorium.

Joan Round
Joan Round

Wednesday afternoon players will be sorry to hear of the death of Joan Round who was a popular player at the club playing regularly until August 2018.  Joan, well into her nineties, always had a smile on her face, David's picture from the 2012 Christmas Party illustrates this well. Our sympathies go to her family at this sad time.

There is to be a thanksgiving service for Joan at Bramshall Church at 2.30 pm on Friday 26th April where all are welcome.

Cliff Tayar
Cliff Tayar

Cliff had been a member of SBC for many years, playing regularly with John Hartley, and was also an active member in many County EBU events. Cliff was a very good and caring bridge player who made the transition from high level chess playing to a similiar level in bridge. He played bridge regularly at Newcastle, Stone and Alsager besides previously at Stafford and Cannock. Cliff won a silver medal at the Mind Games Olyimpiad in Manchester in 2004. He was also instrumental in introducing the Stone bridge club to hosting a heat of the Kidney Sim pairs each year. SBC is much indebted to him for the many years he acted as auditor.  Our thoughts are with Cliff's wife, Pam, at this sad time.

Cliff's funeral service will be on Wednesday 20th Feb, 12:30 at Stafford Crematorium . If any member is intending to attend the funeral service please let John Hartley know.

Agnes Devoy
Agnes Devoy

Pat Martin writes: I am sad to inform you that my Bridge partner for many years up to 2014 – Agnes Devoy – died just over a week ago. I have spoken to her family since and they felt it would be nice if this information could be given to the Bridge Club via the Web.

Agnes and Pat won the Arthur Bloxham Trophy in 2012 for regular Wednesday afternoon players and are pictured here with their cup.

Her Funeral will take place on Friday 2nd November at St Austins Church Wolverhampton Road Stafford at 2pm and afterwards at Stafford Crematorium. Everyone is welcome to join the Family at Brocton Golf Club after the cremation.

Helen Jones
Helen Jones

Members will be very sad to hear that Helen Jones passed away on Wednesday 1st August.  Helen was a very popular Wednesday afternoon and Thursday evening player where she played regularly until very recently and will be much missed.  She always had a friendly smile and kind words at the table.  Helen took part in the Shelley teams competition for several years as a member of Sylvia Ullmer's team, indeed the team of Helen, Sylvia (captain), Rose, Dave and Peter won the competition in the 2016-17 season.  Helen was a keen golfer at Ingestre Park Golf Club, where she was Lady Captain in 2016, and knew a number of bridge club members on the golf course too. Ruth, Helen's regular Wednesday partner writes, a wonderful friend and bridge partner, great sense of humour and a lady in every respect.  Our thoughts are with Helen's family at this sad time.

Helen's funeral will be on Tuesday 21st August, 12.30pm Stafford crematorium and afterwards at Ingestre Park Golf club.

Doug Simmonds
Doug Simmonds

Members will be very sad to hear of Doug's death on 5th May 2018. For many years Doug ran the classes at the club until ill health forced him to retire. He was a wonderful teacher with that knack of getting all the lessons across to all the students so well, complicated concepts explained in an easy to follow manner. Doug was also a great bridge partner, never an unkind comment about his partner's play. A player in the County League and ran Friday evening bridge sessions at Stafford for many years. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time. Doug’s funeral is on Thursday 31st May, firstly there will be a brief service at 1.30 pm at the crematorium, followed by a celebration service at Trinity Church, Eccleshall at 2.30 pm. The family say all are welcome to either service or both.

John Sheppee

Members will be sorry to learn that John passed away on Monday 23rd October. He had unfortunately been ill for some time.

John became a regular player at Stafford in the 80s, playing mainly on Tuesday or Thursday. He also started playing on Wednesday afternoons before moving to Northampton in early 2016. It was a joy to play with or against John as he was a true gentleman at the table. He enjoyed considerable success and regularly represented the County in the Midlands County teams of eight league.

When he moved from Stafford he joined Northampton BC and continued to have a successful game. His last six results at Northampton show four firsts, with over 60% plus scores. Unfortunately because of illness John had not played very much since the summer.

Our thoughts at this very sad time are with his wife Pat and four children.

John Seymour

It is with great sadness that Stafford Bridge Club heard that John Seymour died early on Sunday 16th July.  John joined Stafford Bridge Club in the 80's although more recently has been a regular player at Stone. John and his wife Anne played at Stafford in the handicapped Shelley Teams Competition, and, had the competition not been handicapped theirs would have been the winning team every year!  All Shelley players will remember John for his skill but also his kindness and encouragement to all at the table, a perfect gentleman.

John bravely fought his illness which was first diagnosed in February. Our thoughts are with Anne and family at this very sad time.

The funeral is on Wednesday 2nd August, 11:30 a.m. Stafford crematorium

Ghayur Zaidi

Members will be very sad to hear that Ghayur Zaidi died recently. Ghayur Zaidi, affectionately known to us as Z, was a very keen bridge player.  Z had played for a number of years at the club, at one time in regular partnership with Arthur Bloxham and, more recently, with Pauline Goggin.  Olive spent many a happy hour playing bridge on line with him. Many of the Monday /Wednesday players may be unaware of his passing and those of us who knew him were very fond of his him and his quiet demeanour. We shall miss him a great deal.

May 2015

Sad News
Sad News

Members will be very sad to hear that Barbara Cooke died on April 10th 2015. Barbara was a delightful lady who always had a smile and a twinkle in her eye. Barbara is seen here celebrating her 90th birthday in October 2009 with her friends at Stafford Bridge Club, where she had been a member for over 30 years.
When Basil, her husband, started teaching bridge at the club Barbara was invited to go along with him “to make the tea”. So Barbara began to acquire her interest in the game by “listening-in” during these sessions. She was a regular at the Tuesday evening bridge sessions and then later in 1999 when the Wednesday afternoon session was introduced she started there as well and had been playing regularly ever since until her unfortunate accident about a year ago. Barbara's funeral is to be at St  Austin's Church at 12:30 on Thursday 23rd April followed by a service at the Crematorium at 1:30.

Another regular Wednesday player, Ken Smith, has also just died on April 9th 2015.  Ken had not been a club member for so long as Barbara but had become a familiar face on a Wednesday afternoon after moving to the area a few years ago. Indeed Ken played only last Wednesday, 8th April, where he came 2nd with his regular partner, Sam Holden. Ken's funeral was on Friday, 17th April.  

Rosa Farmer died on Wednesday 15th April 2015 exactly one year after being diagnosed with cancer. Rosa started to play bridge 21 years ago following the death of her husband.  She and Joy became regular bridge partners at Stafford Bridge Club for 17 of those 21 years.  Rosa was a wonderful cook and together she and Joy organised the club Christmas party for 5 years in the late 1990s with Bryan directing the bridge.

The club's thoughts are with the families of Barbara, Ken and Rosa at this sad time.

Pauline Campbell
Pauline Campbell

Members will be very sad and shocked to hear that Pauline Campbell passed away at 8 am on Tuesday 17th June 2014.  Pauline had played at the club only on the previous Tuesday and again on Thursday 12th June in the County No Fear teams event where she came third.  Pauline was a regular player at the club for many years both in the afternoons and Tuesday evenings in addition to playing in the Shelley and the President's Cup on many occasions. 

Bryan Purslow
Bryan Purslow

Members will be shocked to hear of the sudden death on Monday 28th October 2013 of Bryan Purslow.  Bryan directed Monday and Wednesday afternoon bridge sessions for many years until very recently. Indeed Bryan played at the club only the previous Wednesday and, while not directing that afternoon, did a large part of the scoring for the event.  Bryan was recently awarded life membership of the club in appreciation of his many year's dedicated service.

Bryan's funeral will be held at St Mary's RC Church, Balance Street, Uttoxeter ST14 8JB on Friday 8th November at 10:30 am.  A car park is located near the doctor's surgery in Balance Street.

Our thoughts are with Bryan's family at this sad time.

Sad News

George Gould

The club has heard that the very popular Wednesday afternoon bridge player, George Gould, died on Saturday 29th December 2012. George had been ill for some time yet still managed to attend the club until late November.

Chris Rowley

Chris died very suddenly on Monday 7th January 2013. Chris, a regular Wednesday afternoon player, had been on good form at the club only the previous Wednesday.

Our thoughts are with their families at this sad time.

Tony Aspras

As members will be aware Tony has not been in good health for some time and the club was very sad to hear that Tony passed away in the early hours of September 24th 2012. Despite his illness Tony always had a smile and a joke at the bridge table. Not so long ago Wednesday players gave him a "welcome back" party after a previous bout of illness, he was on great form on that occasion. Last season Tony played regularly on a Thursday evening, including in the Shelley, and was often at the American Suppers. Tony will be very much missed at Stafford Bridge Club.

Tony's funeral will be on Tuesday 9th October at Colwich Church at 12.45 pm. David suggests that, due to limited parking space at the church, club members might like to meet at the club about 12 and group together in full cars to travel to the church.



Funeral: Rev. Preb. Geoff Staton conducted an uplifting service for Patsy, with over 50 family and friends present. This was followed by a warm and friendly "wake" in the bridge club with over 35 of us enjoying an excellent spread of food. We gave Patsy a really good send off. God bless.


Dr Guy de Visme
Dr Guy de Visme

It is with sadness that the club heard that one of the long standing Wednesday afternoon players, Dr Guy de Visme, has died.  Guy had suffered ill health for some time and not been able to attend the club since last summer.  Guy's funeral will be at 2 p.m. on Friday 30th March 2012 at the Crematorium.

Richard Barker

The club has heard that Richard Barker died suddenly on October 4th 2012. Richard was a regular player at the club on a Wednesday afternoon until just a few weeks ago.  Well into his nineties and still giving the youngsters a run for their money at the bridge table. 

Funeral: Friday 19th October 3.00pm at the Crematorium.

Sue Anslow
Sue Anslow

The club is sad to report the recent death of Sue Anslow. Sue has been poorly for some time and for a few years has not been very active on the bridge scene.

For many years Sue was a County Committee member including County Membership Secretary with responsibility for collecting County subs - rather an arduous task before Pay to Play arrived. Sue enjoyed success at the bridge table including winning the County Mixed Pairs.

Before her illness Sue played regularly at Stafford, Chasetown and Wolverhampton. She also arranged regular bridge lessons in Penkridge and a number of her former pupils are now playing duplicate bridge.

Sue will be very fondly remembered by all who knew her.

April 2012

Arthur Ballham
It is with great sadness that the club heard that one of bridge's most perfect gentlemen has very sadly died. Arthur has been suffering ill health for some time and passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday 6th September.
The funeral will be held at Bradwell Crematorium, ST5 8LE, Newcastle-u-Lyme on Thursday 15th September 2011 at 2.00pm.
Our condolences to Margaret at this sad time.
Colin Morrisey
Colin Morrisey

The club is saddened to hear of the death of Colin Morrisey.  Colin, a member of the Club for many years, passed away peacefully on April 3rd. For all those wishing to attend the funeral service it will be held at 1.30pm on Friday 15th April 2011 at Stafford Crematorium.

Albert Tipton, Premier Life Master Wolverhampton Bridge Club
Albert Tipton's Funeral
Albert's funeral will be held on Tuesday 12th April 2011 at 10:00 am at the Church of St Mary and St Chad in Brewood.
Afterwards at the Jubilee Hall, Brewood.
Family flowers only please - donations may be made to Brewood First Response and/or the Air Ambulance Service.
Thelma Bayles
Thelma Bayles

Thelma Bayles, a regular player at SBC for several years and a keen golfer, died on Tuesday morning. Thelma has been unwell for the past 2-3 years and was therefore unable to play bridge at Stafford since April last year. We offer our condolences to all her family and friends, she will be sadly missed by so many.

Thelma's funeral will take place at Stafford Crematorium on Tuesday 5th April 2011 at 1.00 p.m., then afterwards at Ingestre Golf Club.

Gwen Weaver

We were saddened last week to hear of the death of Gwen Weaver who was a regular player on Fridays. She had been ill for some months but continued to play until July.

The funeral will be at Gnosall Church on Tuesday 30th October at 12.00.

"Gwen and I met through the local baby-sitting circle; Gwen’s daughter, Melanie, and my daughter were born within a week of one other. We soon discovered that we both had a mutual interest in bridge. Gwen and her two sisters, Bette and Midge, were all keen players.

Before long we had a group of 6 couples from the village playing regularly. Each couple took it in turn to host the evening. Gwen’s husband, Bryan, ensured that the prizes were always memorable when they acted as hosts and Gwen laid on beautiful buffets – such happy evenings.

Later Gnosall Bridge Club was established where Gwen attended regularly. John Bache took the players there under his wing and gently encouraged a common bidding system from the disparate systems the group had joined with, transfer bids and sputnik doubles etc were introduced. John taught us much.

Eventually Gwen and a few others from Gnosall felt encouraged to try the Stafford club on a Friday evening; Doug and the regulars made all very much at home. Pearl took over the instruction, where John had left off, giving plenty of helpful advice and new ideas.

For the last six or seven years Gwen and I have played together fairly regularly on Friday evenings at the showground. Gwen was a wonderful bridge partner, she rarely rebuked her partners however much, as in my case, it may have been deserved.

Gwen was always on the go, a keen golfer, a caring grandmother to Dominic and Marcus, a member of Gnosall Choir and many other interests in addition to her bridge.

After the diagnosis of her illness in early March Gwen continued to play bridge, despite undergoing some intensive treatment. I shall miss her very much both as a true friend and as a bridge partner."


Ann Sleightholme

Joyce Holt

We have also heard that Joyce Hold has recently died. She played on Fridays until 2004.